The Water Cycle Puzzle, Alison’s Montessori

Chemistry 3-6, 6-9

The Water Cycle, also known as the Hydrologic Cycle, is one of the topics with which children never fail to engage. We have been excited to take Alison’s Montessori Water Cycle Puzzle to our dock on the lake, and review the materials within a life size model. The graphics and the colors of the puzzle are stunning and call for attention.


The Water Cycle Puzzle in conjunction with the Nomenclature cards keep the children’s knowledge sharp. It offers multiple access to learning through the following materials:

  • The Water Cycle Wooden Puzzle
  • Wooden arrows with names of the processes (plus groundwater, surface runoff, solar energy, types of water storage)
  • A large control for errors chart
  • 2 sets of three part cards for different level of learning
  • A booklet for the 3 part cards
  • A blackline diagram for coloring and labeling
  • A control chart for the blackline diagram

How it works

As with all Alison’s Montessori puzzles, you can isolate the parts, which represent the different processes. You can use the wooden arrows to label the parts. If you line up the arrows, you can use the pieces to illustrate the labeled arrows. The puzzle is versatile and you can count on the children to work with them creatively. The arrows are curved so that children can physically illustrate the perpetual movement of the water. They can use the control chart to check their work when done placing the arrows.

Curved arrows of different sizes

I also liked that groundwater and water storages were part of the learning. Children need to understand how important and scarce fresh water is. They need to know where tap water comes from, and how it is important to act responsibly with our water supply.

Deconstructed Water Cycle Puzzle

As for the nomenclature cards, there are 2 sets. The first set contains picture/label/labeled description, which invites children to read the description cards, and match to themt their respective pictures and labels (easy level). The second set contains cloze tests description cards. Cloze tests are cards with missing key words. Children have a labeled picture cards, and need to match them to the description cards and label them (more challenging). Children always use the booklet to check their work.

Easy – description card/picture/label

The texts in the description cards are informational; geared to ignite further interest in the inquisitive elementary child. It contains important data that brings a child to reconsider the value of water.

More challenging – labeled picture/cloze test card/ label
Nomenclature cards with booklets, blackline, and control chart

Finally, as always, we cannot end a lesson without completing a lovely diagram. The colors of the puzzle are so stunning, I ask the children to look for the same nuances of color pencils to bring with us to the dock. It was a good opportunity for me to have them pay attention to the artistic part of the puzzle. As always, thank you for reading. I invite you to check out this Water Cycle model I found on Alison’s Montessori website. My son’s guide used it in classroom; it’s the best 3D model I’ve seen.

Disclosure: this experience was made possible thanks to Alison’s Montessori for having the confidence in their house-made products, and letting us try the puzzle at no cost, with no requirement on my part. I do write unbiased honest reviews, because I only write about products that work for us.

All Alison’s Montessori puzzles and nomenclature cards are designed and manufactured in the US.

Ready for a lesson?


2 replies to “The Water Cycle Puzzle, Alison’s Montessori

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